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  Bert86

History of Deadly Fall

level overview

Deadly Fall is the last level in the game and can be unlocked by beating match race in expert mode, despite being the "final boss" level in the game it is still the second shortest course after Crystal Lake. Most of the other courses in the game are relatively linear with some variation in the paths you can take but despite Deadly Fall being a short course, it is incredibly wide with a vast expansive tundra that allows you to take many different paths to the finish line. There are moguls, trees, huge cliff drops, massive stone pillars to avoid and even an ice half pipe which you can board through if you so wish. It is an incredibly complex level in regards to which route you decide to follow which is what makes it so interesting and fun to play.

The run begins with a small drop off a rock crevasse which can be difficult to land if you do not have the penguin board unlocked. The penguin board gives you much more stability when playing 1080 and is an absolute must have, along with the gold boarder who is the fastest if you want to speedrun the game. Once you land safely there are generally two routes that you can take by going to either the left or right of a rock that separates the paths. The left path is initially more challenging as you immediately have to navigate your way through a series of moguls and the right path is more straightforward at first and also the one that CPU players take in match race mode. From there on there are multiple deviations that can be taken from either the left or right route through the level but conventionally as speedrunners we had always believed that going to the right and following the path that Hayate took in his 1’07”45 world record run to be the most optimal route to the finish.

speed run beginnings

For a long time the record on Deadly Fall was thought to be a 1’07”45 set by Patrick Zalesky around the 2006/2007 era. The score was and still is recorded on the now defunct N64HS page, but as with a lot of claims from this era no video exists of the alleged run. We would later determine that a lot of the other submissions from Patrick Zalesky were impossible times and although a 1’07”45 is a possible time in the 1080 chronometer, given his lies about his records on other levels it does not seem credible that he achieved this time. The second fastest time from the N64HS page is a 1’07”48 by Phil Hughes (a possible time) but we know of no video of this run either, or from any other player during this time period. It is therefore very hard to determine what the world record legitimately was from this era as it is more than possible that most of the times on this ranking were fake. The 5th place runner on the ranking is Ron Klijn who has a time of 1'07"61, Ron set the legendary record of 1'02"46 on Crystal Lake in 2001 and amazingly managed to prove this with a video of his run in 2016 giving his scores a lot of credibility. His nephew Robbie Klijn has a 1'07"58 meaning that either of the Klijns could have had the world record.

N64HS Deadly Fall rankings - January 2007

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/517142561333182465/541712102285639680/deadly_fall.jpg

Beginning of the modern era of 1080 speedrunning

It was not until the 4th of April 2014 that a Japanese runner by the alias of Hayate tied and recorded a video of a 1’07”45, this was the first time that we had any proof of the time even being possible. As we would later find out Hayate was in most probability the first person to achieve the time. Hayate would end up taking world records on 4 of the 6 levels during this era and would become the official champion of 1080 after the Dutch player Ron Klijn had held the title for so long since he sets his records in 2001.

Hayates 1'07"45 run was a very well executed run with no obvious mistakes. He chose the right route from the beginning of the level, making his way over the ridge and dropping down to the left of the ice half pipe which is certainly faster than going through the half pipe. Hayate also used the middle route through the rock tree section before correctly choosing to avoid going over the big jump at the end whilst being careful to avoid the pillars. This video would now be the benchmark from which any future 1080 speedrunners would have to follow.

Hayates 1’07”45

Hayates record would stand until the 12th of July 2016 when an American runner called Maalur submitted a video of a 1’07”41 which would beat Hayates record by 1 frame. Maalur would use the same route in his run but found a frame of optimisation by taking a tighter line in his run. Unusually he used the overhead camera view and he also live recorded the video with a hype reaction to getting the record which is definitely worth watching.

Maalurs 1’07”41

Berts story

My story begins when I first played 1080 snowboarding as a kid in the late 90’s, I was 12 years old when 1080 came out in 1998 and I bought it at launch after being impressed with the quality of the graphics and the reviews in magazines. My family were pretty slow on the uptake in getting an internet connection and the only way for me to find out about the latest gaming news was through Nintendo magazines that would come out once a month.

My enjoyment in playing games has always stemmed from competition and trying to beat my own records so I spent most of my time in 1080 and any other racing game I had in the time trial modes trying to beat my own times. In a world where you are 12 or 13 years old without internet access, finding out how you stacked up against other people was not a simple task. The only way for me to compare my times with other people was by viewing magazine submissions each month and the high scores section was always my favourite part to read.

Magazine clipping from the late 1990's with some 1080 High scores
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/340787781993496578/464410873616924672/JPEG_20180705_134221.jpg

As you can see from the magazine clipping the record submission on deadly fall was a 1'07"88 by Norman Obaseki which is a pretty good time, it was one frame faster than my own PB back then and was probably legitimate. Although proof standards in magazines for record times back then were non-existent as you can see with the 31 second Dam time in Goldeneye.

Nintendo official magazine tips book with routing guide for Deadly Fall
https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/340787781993496578/464422288964452353/JPEG_20180705_142748.jpg

I remember that my PB on Deadly Fall in late 90's was a 1’07”91 which used the exact same route as Hayate used in his 1’07”45 WR run but with obviously inferior lines. A 1’07”91 is still a respectable time today but nowhere near the standards of the current world record. After a year or two of intensely playing the game I basically never touched 1080 again between 1999 and when I decided to pick it up again in December 2017 after seeing videos of Hayates records. I always had an affinity for the game and felt like I could get close to his times and in the modern era where videos were standard my interest had been reignited. Pretty quickly I managed to beat my old record by a frame setting a time of 1’07”88 on January 13th 2018 and then on February 2nd 2018 I would lower it again to a 1’07”65 using the conventional route, placing me 4th on the speedrun.com ranking page behind Maalur, Hayate and Ron Klijn.

Berts 1’07”65

Race for the world record

It was very soon after this that I was browsing twitch as usual and happened to come across a 1080 stream where two brothers were trying to beat their record on deadly fall. I believe their best time was a 1’07”9x which was a solid time but I noticed that they had been taking a route I had never seen before. The brothers were taking a route going left at the start of the level and there was obviously a lot of time that could be saved from their record, they both seemed convinced that their route could beat Maalurs WR of 1’07”41 and I remember them saying they thought a 1’07”2x was possible. They said that they had been using the left route at the beginning since they were kids and eventually produced the following video of a replay of one their runs using Dion Blaster and the Tahoe 155 board which was recorded in 2008.

LomasLooman and Phalaers video of them taking the new left route in 2008

Game on. This immediately sparked my motivation to try and emulate the route they were taking on the level, I wanted to be the first one to take the world record and it was nice to have some other active players also trying to improve their records for what is a pretty niche game. I tried to remember the exact line that the brothers (LomasLooman and Phalaer) were taking but their twitch stream wasn’t saved to video and I had to try and figure it out myself what it was they were doing. This led to a diversion in strategy between what the brothers were doing and what I was doing in the approach to what we now call “the alcove” section of the track. At around 27 seconds into the run I would take the left most route which avoided going up a slope and then pull right and sharp left into the alcove. The brothers would take a line going straight up the slope and drop off going straight into the alcove. Using their route the brothers both managed to set an impressive time of 1’07”58 on the 24th of February and then using my version of the brothers route I managed to improve my PB to a 1’07”51 on the 26th of February, just 3 frames behind the world record putting me in third place behind Maalur and Hayate and knocking the brothers both down to 4th.

During this time, none of us were aware of the fact that when you save your ghost you can view it in replay mode in the main menu and change the camera angle to see exactly what the player is doing in their run. The brothers would often just show the the results screen at the end with a replay using the alternating camera angle instead... this would become an issue later on.

LomasLoomans 1’07”58 replay

Phalaers 1’07”58 replay

The very next day Phalaer struck back with an awesome 1’07”45 on the 27th of February, tying Hayates old record and knocking me down a spot. The run was far from perfect as they state in their live commentary after the celebration. Phalaer was behind his ghost for the first three quarters of the run but with a much better line in the tree section managed to pull ahead of his ghost tying the legendary 1'07"45 time.

Phalaer’s 1’07”45

Hayate was the one to verify my 1’07”51 on speedrun.com and was obviously keeping a close eye on all this activity going on on Deadly Fall. After seeing my video he was obviously now motivated to retain the Deadly Fall world record from Maalur using the new route. Hayate used the same line that I used and eventually managed to tie Maalur with a 1’07”41 on the 28th of February, a few hours later he managed to pull out a huge run and landed a 1’07”32 proving that the left route was without question faster than going to the right and taking the WR before the rest of us could get there. I remember feeling a little deflated after seeing that run because it was a time that seemed completely out of reach to me in that moment, Hayate was the current champion of 1080 and his skill level was clearly superior to myself, LomasLooman and Phalaers. But there were still 4 of us now actively competing for the record and none of us had given up.

The 1'07"32 was a very clean run with no obvious mistakes and it was a huge improvement of three frames from his previous PB. It is not often you will improve a WR time by that much, normally you can expect to take one or two frames off your time but Hayate didn't just crush the 1'07"40 barrier, he was one frame away from breaking into the 20's which was something unthinkable not long ago.

Hayates 1’07”32

In Hayates view his run was nearly perfect but I felt that a maximum for the route was probably around a 1’07”25 and the two brothers suspected something similar. Despite Hayates record they both felt confident that their route was faster and I was skeptical but would continue using my route because I knew I could further optimise my play.

On the same day Hayate broke the world record I tied Phalaer with a 1’07”45 for joint third place then Phalaer once again beat my time by a frame, tying Maalur with a 1’07”41. Lomaslooman remained in 5th with his 1’07”58, The activity was furious as we battled to take the world record.

Phalaers 1’07”41 replay
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=YRJOFaWra4E

Around this time myself and the two brothers both came to the realisation that we were not doing the start correctly in all our runs and were losing 2-3 frames right off the bat. For 95% of most runs you will hold Z to get maximum speed unless you need to make a sharp turn but if you are holding Z before the start then you lose a significant amount of speed, by only pressing Z after the race begins you can save a 2-3 frames and that is a lot of time when you are fighting for single frames.

On March 2nd LomasLooman improved his PB down to a 1’07”45 bringing him right back into contention with the rest of us. You can hear him and his brother Phalaer discussing whether they think that their strategy was faster than the one that me and Hayate were using.

LomasLoomans 1’07”45

A few days later on the 3rd of March I managed to break a huge barrier and land a 1’07”38 using my strategy, I was now just two frames behind Hayates WR and had beaten Maalur and Phalaer into second place. I was now happy enough with this time that I would begin to do some testing between the route myself and Hayate were using and that of the brothers to see which was truly faster.

Bert’s 1’07”38

The reason I would switch over to the brothers strategy was because I watched Phalaer beat my time with a 1’07”35 just a few hours after I got my own PB. Watching his run it was clear to me that he lost some time in areas that I didn’t and was now under the strong suspicion that the brothers route was slightly faster. I was in their stream watching live as it happened and their reaction to beating my PB is quite funny, knowing that I was watching.

Phalaer’s 1’07”35

We now had a situation where Hayate had the WR at a 1’07”32, Phalaer was one frame behind with a 1’07”35 and I was sitting one frame behind Phalaer with a 1’07”38. I started to run the brothers route leading into the alcove entrance and racing against my own ghost was able to clearly determine that their route was indeed faster by about .1 seconds, or roughly 3 frames based on how far ahead of my ghost I was coming into the entrance.

The alcove

The alcove is one of, if not the most critical parts of the run and it is where a lot of time can either be won or lost. A huge number of runs will die at this part of the course and getting the perfect entrance into this tight section is one of the hardest things to do speed running on any level of 1080. There is a slight bump on the ground leading into the alcove that sends you airborne and once in the air you have no control over your direction of travel so it is important that you pull left on the control stick going over this bump. Doing so will hopefully give you the tightest line to the left of the alcove entrance, this is so that when you inevitably hit the wall on the right side of the alcove you do so at an angle that is more parallel with the wall thus losing less speed. Get this part wrong and the run is essentially over. The advantage of the brothers route was that their line of entrance was straight on, meaning they were hitting the wall less sharply and saving a few frames.

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/517142561333182465/545005944178868254/ALCOVE_BUMP.jpg

I managed to also find another slight optimisation in strategy on the level. At around 22 seconds into the run on an area of the track where not too much happens there are a few bumps that will send you airborne. In principal following the flattest, straightest line travelling at top speed is the quickest way to the finish and going over bumps is a deviation from this straight line. At the part of the track where the bumps lie is a mogul and I found that if you were to just clip the side of the mogul it would be enough to send you airborne over these bumps with less altitude than actually hitting the bump. This strategy offered a very minor time save but it was enough to help me improve my PB.

New WR, the race continues

Furthermore there is a section of the track just after exiting the alcove where you navigate through a tree section, the brothers took a line to the left of the trees whereas I would go to the right, we would later also determine that my line through the trees was slightly quicker. With all of this information I managed to land my first world record in 1080 with a 1’07”28 on the 3rd of March 2018, breaking another huge barrier and being the first player to enter into the twenties. After achieving this time I had now anticipated that a maximum would be somewhere in the region of a 1’07”15, edging us closer to the 1’06 mark but still an inconceivable time.

Bert’s 1’07”28

The very same day of achieving my first world record on Deadly Fall, Phalaer had a tremendous run himself which was well ahead of his 1'07"35 ghost. In all likelihood his run was on 1'07"25 pace but he failed to land the ending and got the stutter animation instead costing him the WR. His reaction is one of total exasparation as he had done everything correctly in his run but was just unfortunate that the 1080 Gods were on not on his side at that moment.

Phalaers world record fail

After achieving this time, I would improve the record by 1 frame, but did not submit it as I felt that I wanted to wait until I got a sub 1’07”20 pace run first. I had one such run where I had a godly alcove entrance and was clearly on WR pace but bonked in the tree section killing the run. It is frustrating when you are able to execute the most difficult part of a run perfectly only to make a silly mistake killing a WR pace run.

Bert’s sub 1’07”20 pace fail

None of this discouraged LomasLooman and in particular Phalaer from trying to beat my first WR. Three days after I got a 1’07”28 Phalaer (the king of deadly fall) pulled off a great run and managed to land a 1’07”22 using my tree route and little known to me, a new time save just before the alcove entrance. He was now the 4th person to hold the WR on Deadly Fall in the last couple of years and the third person in the last week.

Phalaers 1’07”22 replay

The problem with replay videos is that the camera angle constantly changes during the run making it very difficult to see exactly what lines the player is taking. I was not able to spot the new trick that the brothers had found but the time was accepted as a WR because there was no doubt from any of us that the time had been achieved legitimately.

At this point I was a little burned out with the grind on deadly fall and was happy to concede the WR to Phalaer for the time being. I moved on to playing some of the other courses and with my much improved skill level was able to break both of Ron Klijns records on Crystal Lake and Crystal Peak.

On the 10th of March LomasLooman topped Maalurs old WR with a 1’07”35 keeping him very much in touch with myself, Phalaer and Hayate.

LomasLoomans 1’07”35 replay https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=52&v=4YkbDzQgGwA

At this point Phalaer was happy to sit on his 1’07”22 but his brother LomasLooman was still up for the fight and managed to improve his PB down to my old WR time of a 1’07”28 on the 24th of March, he then improved his time again to a 1’07”25 on the 5th of April only 1 frame from the world record. He had his sights firmly set on being the first person to get a sub 1’07”20 and he wasn’t far away.

LomasLoomans 1’07”25 replay

The brothers share the crown

Then three weeks later on the 25th of April LomasLooman pulled off an incredible WR tie with his brother achieving a 1’07”22 meaning that the two brothers who had started the whole race in the beginning with their new route both had tied the WR on the level. A quite poetic moment for them as they shared the top spot on a strategy they had found over ten years earlier. LomasLooman became the 5th player to hold the world record on Deadly Fall within a two year period but he only sparked more motivation from his brother to retake the undisputed title on the course and it didn’t take him too long to get the untied. Less than an hour later Phalaer untied Deadly Fall again with a 1’07”18, speed bullying his own brother by taking his first world record less than an hour after he achieved it. Phalaer also decided to throw out a couple of barbed comments towards myself who was now getting irritated about the fact that both brothers refused to produce a full video of their runs rather than just a replay.

Phalaers 1’07”18 part 1

Phalaers 1’07”18 part 2

Tensions rise

During this time period I had taken the crown of 1080 champion and was battling Hayate for the World record on Crystal Peak, Golden Forest and Dragon Cave but I still had my eye on making a return to Deadly Fall at some point quite soon. Then on the 5th of May Phalaer once again untied his own world record with a 1’07”15, this was a time that I had believed to be around a theoretical max so either Phalaer had pulled off an incredible run or he was hiding something that I didn’t know about. Either way there was no full video, only a replay and tensions had been increasing between myself and the two brothers in the discord chat. To a few others and I in the community it had become unacceptable that no videos had been produced for what was a high level world record time. So in lieu of Phalaers 1’07”15 we changed policy stating that all WR times would require a full video of the run.

Phalaers 1’07”15 replay

I made my return to Deadly Fall with a 1 frame PB, achieving a 1’07”22 on the 16th of June. This time turned out to be a bit of a grind to achieve and a .15 seemed like a really strong run. The start of my run was pretty sloppy with my ghost clearly being 1-2 frames ahead, this just confirmed my .15 potential and I was motivated to fight for the WR again. I also had reconsidered that a max time may be closer to a 1’07”08 after all of my grinding on the stage.

Bert’s 1’07”22

The same day LomasLooman managed to equal his brothers WR once more with a 1’07”15 of his own. The brothers were now once again tied for the top spot but only unofficially. posting a picture of the time in the discord chat, he obviously could not submit his time on speedrun.com because it would not be accepted with the new video required policy. I was slightly dumbfounded by the ease at which they seemed to be able to beat their records.

Picture of LomasLoomans 1’07”15 https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/340787781993496578/457727476286881793/Screenshot_20180616-220159.png

Bumpy landing – strategy update

On the 21st of June I pulled off my first sub 20 run with a 1’07”18, I had been grinding pretty hard and was now only 1 frame behind the brothers world record time. Whilst grinding I had found another strategy change that allowed me to save some more time.

Right at the end of the run, the track slopes upwards and there are two bumps that are awkward to navigate. The first bump can be a big problem because when you hit it it will send you airborne and because of the upward angled slope you land on you will sometimes have a “stutter landing” that causes the boarder to go off balance and lose a lot of time (between a quarter and half second). You have to hold your board forward and hope that you land correctly but the stutter landing was a common way to kill runs right at the death. I had realised that this could be avoided by applying something I had seen Hayate do on his Crystal Lake run. By pressing jump just before hitting the bump when moving onto an upwards slope you can cancel the jump animation by landing on the upwards part of the slope which stops you going airborne. This can save a frame or so and stops the stutter landing from occurring. This revelation would stop runs from dying right at the death whilst also being a nice little time saver.

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/517142561333182465/545008847463514122/JUMP_CANCELS.jpg

Bert’s 1’07”18

Obviously motivated by the fact that I was now getting close to his WR time the next day Phalaer posted this comment in the discord chat

Quote

“You all seem to have forgotten something so let me remind you Bert and LomasLooman are pretenders desperately trying to achieve the greatness I come to naturally. Deadly Fall will always be my course, my strat, my life”
along with a photo of his 1’07”12 world record.

Photo of Phalaers 1’07”12 https://i.imgur.com/L6RzpfK.jpg?1

Neither Phalaer or LomasLooman had any intention of submitting a video of their WR runs, but were happy to let the community know that they had achieved the times. There was no doubt in my mind that the time was legitimate but I was becoming more irritated with the fact that they were not sharing their videos, as I was always more than happy to do so.

The giveaway

Then on the 25th of June a user called Rcanon86 had let it slip that LomasLooman was targeting a 1’07”02!!! On Deadly Fall, this was a time that was inconceivable to me and confirmed that the brothers had been hiding some kind of strategy that I didn’t know about. With that in mind I immediately set to work to try and figure out what it was they were doing to save the time. Tensions were high in the discord group but I resolved to find out what the trick was, I already had some ideas in my head.

After playing around for a while I figured out that jumping over the bump leading into the alcove entrance was about 2-3 frames faster than what I had been doing, this was a significant discovery and it did not take me long to PB with the new strat. I knew that a 1’07”12 was well within reach and that I could probably beat it.

In one long grind session I steadily improved my PB frame by frame from a 1’07”18 to a 1’07”15 tying LomasLooman then to a 1’07”12 tying Phalaer for the WR. I landed about five 1’07”12’s before finally getting the untied WR with a 1’07”08, the first sub 10. By applying the double jump cancel strategy at the end and the brothers secret jump strat before the alcove I was able to finally regain the Deadly Fall WR after previously holding the record with a 1’07”28 a few months before.

Instead of posting a video of the run and submitting it like I normally did I decided to play the brothers game for a little bit and posted a picture of the time screen in the discord group. This would let them know that I had beaten Phalaers record but would not give the game away that I had discovered their time save. LomasLooman describes his reaction to seeing the new WR score in the discord group.

Quote

“I still remember waking up at my GFs place to seeing that you had the 1'07"08. I woke up, immediately texted phalaer what happened. The Gf could tell I was disappointed in something by how I reacted lol. We were definitely deflated, but it’s all part of competition and that what makes 1080 and speed running so fun.”

Bert’s 1’07”08

The race to 1’06

By this point we were edging very close to a huge barrier, the first ever sub 1’07 on Deadly Fall. It is a very rare occurrence that a second barrier drops in this game and the WR had been in the 1’07’s pretty much since timing began. In the last few months we had managed to knock off nearly half a second from the WR which is a huge margin in this game as you have to try and fight harder and harder for every frame of improvement. The only other levels to have seen second barriers broken in the modern era were when Hayate got the first ever 1’28 on mountain village and his 1’23 on Dragon Cave, both in 2014.

A few days after achieving the 1’07”08 I landed a 1’07”05 on stream meaning that we were now only two frames away from reaching the 1’06 milestone.

Bert’s 1’07”05

It might have seemed at this point like I would be cruising along to achieving the first 1’06 on my own but the brothers had far from given up on the race and had been secretly labbing away on new strategy optimisations on the level. I woke up on the 1st of July to find that not only had my world record been broken by LomasLooman but his brother Phalaer had also achieved the first ever 1’07”02’s. They had managed to improve their PB’s from a 1’07”12 and 1’07”15 respectively in a single day. The reason they had managed to cut 3/4 frames from their PB was by applying a series of strategy improvements to the route. By jumping over the deep snow after the first set of moguls and then by the mogul where I had been using my clip strategy in addition to further jumps during the tree section and the pillars they had been able to save a considerable amount of time from the run. We now had a situation where the two brothers were only a single frame from achieving the first 1’06 and I was two frames away.

Phalaer in true king of deadly fall style had this comment to post with his video of the run.

Quote

“A joint effort between LomasLooman and Phalaer began late 2017 to beat, nay, destroy the 1080 snowboarding competition on their favorite course, Deadly Falls. What lie before them was a record held and considered unbeatable, 1'07''41. However, Phalaer and Lomas were no ordinary speedrunners, they were innovators, pure thinkers, and changed the route from the status quo to what is now known as the PHALAER LOMASLOOMAN deadly falls route. After further tweaking, we have re-established ourselves as the Kings of Deadly Falls. Bare witness to greatness.
We are sharing our strategy having done what we believe is enough to cement ourselves in Deadly Falls history. Let it be known here who is responsible for the most optimized and competitive route in 1080 snowboarding.”

LomasLoomans 1’07”02

Phalaers 1’07”02

The first 1’06

Although I was slightly surprised and disappointed to see that my WR was gone, I was pleased to see that the brothers had only beaten my time by finding new ways to go quicker on the route. For me this meant that there was only more time to save and I got back on the grind again later that night. After some practice I began to learn the new techniques and eventually landed a 1’07”02 myself, but I was struggling to find that extra frame that I needed. I knew that if I didn’t get the 1’06 that night then either LomasLooman or Phalaer would get there first. I took a break for a while and just chilled out but I couldn’t get it out of my head that I had to get that run.

I went back to my N64 and turned it on and within 5 minutes of starting to play I had an unbelievable run on my hands, the start was reasonably good but the alcove was incredible. It was the kind of alcove you might get once in a couple of hundred attempts, I just BARELY touched the wall. No wall hit alcoves are incredibly rare and they are what you aim for on this critical part of the course, in this run I had a nearly perfect alcove. As I switched my ghost back on after exiting the alcove I could see that I was at least 1 frame ahead and my heart rate immediately picked up. When you get into these situations your fight or flight response kicks in and you can feel the adrenaline rush through your body, your hands get sweaty and it becomes all about mental self-control. In that moment you can either choke the run or take a deep breath and just go for it. This time there was absolutely no way this opportunity was getting away from me. I made it through the trees pretty cleanly, landed the pillars and all that was left was to get the timing on the two jump cancels right. I nailed it and the 1’06”99 flashed up on the screen, what I felt was more of a relief than anything else. I knew that if I did not land that run that I would not get another opportunity again that night and I would be kicking myself for it. I have failed a lot of potential world record runs since playing this game and it is inevitable that it is going to happen, but if I persist and I’m able to keep my cool then I know that eventually I will land the run. Sometimes you have to fail enough runs that you can’t fail anymore and sometimes the records come easily.

Bert’s 1’06”99

PAL vs NTSC

Both Phalaer and Lomaslooman were good sports and congratulated me on the run, but Phalaer was also quick to point out that it was the PAL version of the game I was playing on as opposed to the NTSC version that they had been playing and he felt I had an advantage. PAL runs 17% slower than NTSC, giving the player more time to react to certain situations. But with all of us only ever having played one version of the game we didn’t know whether this was true or not. I was not convinced that the PAL version had offered me any advantage as world records have been held in both versions of the game over its history, and I felt like the insinuation was that I was only good because of PAL. Despite the speed difference at which the different versions play at, the clock in 1080 effectively works as a frame counter rather than a measure of real time meaning that the same times can be achieved in both versions of the game. This is why we see similar times achieved in both PAL and NTSC versions and we only use one scoring chart. To demonstrate the speed difference in the two versions of the game Phalaer produced a side by side video of my 1’07”05 run on deadly fall and his 1’07”02 which shows him finishing his run around 10 seconds faster than myself in the PAL version even though the times are nearly identical.

Phalaers PAL vs NTSC video

I had been keen to play some NTSC 1080 so I ordered myself a copy of the NTSC-J version which is effectively identical to the North American version. Upon playing it, the speed difference was immediately obvious. To me it felt like playing the PAL version on steroids, the timings were different and my initial thoughts were that the controls felt like they were a little more sensitive in NTSC but ultimately, I liked playing it more, it felt like how the PAL version should have been.

It took me a little while to adapt to the speed difference but it is essentially the same game with the same mechanics and I started to get quick times in the NTSC version. 1080 is not a vastly technical game to play, most of the time you are holding Z to crouch for maximum speed and you move the control stick to the left or right to change direction you move in, occasionally you will also have to jump but that’s it. I was confident after playing it for a while that I could achieve at least a 1’06”99 in the NTSC version as well.

“I got cucked”

After I got the first 1’06 Phalaer had decided that he was taking break from playing the game for a while but his brother LomasLooman was still active and playing for the first NTSC 1’06 in addition to trying to beat his 1’02”46 on Crystal Lake. After landing a couple more 1’07”02’s, Lomas had a great run where he was on solid pace and it appeared as if he was ahead of his 1’07”02 ghost as he crossed the finish line, but not all was as appeared. Sometimes you can be ahead of your ghost by a fraction of a frame rather than a full frame and although you may be ahead you may still end up with an identical time. Lomas had thought he was about to land his first ever 1’06 on this run, which also includes a hilarious reaction.

LomasLoomans best Deadly Fall run

Later that same day (14th July 2018) LomasLooman did land his first ever 1’06, the second player to ever achieve this feat and the first person to ever do it in the NTSC version of the game. I was on holiday in Italy at the time but I was watching his live stream as he was doing his run, you can hear him in the video talk to me in chat and I congratulated him on tying my WR. Later in the video he would say that he was coming for my crown of overall 1080 champion by the end of the year.

LomasLoomans 1’06”99

The grind

By this point we knew that a 1’06”8x was possible based on all our data and experience playing the level, it was just a case of putting enough time in and executing the perfect run to start chopping the time down further a frame at a time. LomasLooman continued to put a lot of effort into the level looking to get the first “95 or even “92 on Deadly Fall but he kept landing lots of 1’07”02’s and then eventually lots of 1’06”99’s. According to him he has landed around twenty 1’07”02’s and ten 1’06”99’s. It is not uncommon to land the same time on a level several times before beating a PB but Lomas seems to have set a WR for the greatest number of times tying a PB before beating it in 1080.

I myself was not satisfied with the 1’06”99 and continued to push for a new record eventually setting a new WR of 1’06”95 on the 9th of August 2018. The start of this run was not particularly good, the moguls were quite poor and I lost some time coming down the steep slope before reaching the plains. Heading into the alcove I had lost about 3 frames to my ghost but the alcove was fantastic and I came out ahead of my ghost at the exit. I had found out that after jumping into the alcove and letting go of Z then pulling hard to the left was the best method of getting a good entrance, this new strategy worked to my advantage as a I became much more consistent at getting a good alcove. I managed to maintain my 1 frame advantage to the finish line setting a new WR in the NTSC version of the game.

Bert’s 1’06”95

At the time of writing in November 2018 this is where the current world record on Deadly Fall stands but we know that this is a time that is more than beatable and during December a lot of the time runners plan on coming back to beat this time along with some of the other records in the game. There has been a lot of new talent come into the game this year including mattador who has come out of nowhere to achieve a 1’07”05 on Deadly Fall, just a frame behind Phalaer, 2 frames behind LomasLooman and 3 frames behind myself. There is a very good chance that the WR may fall quite soon and perhaps a new player could be the one to achieve the first sub 1’06”90. Let’s hope the story continues into next year and beyond.

Standings as of February 2019

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/517142561333182465/541726524483698729/df.jpg

theluge, Unlash_ and 3 others like this. 
  Lomaslooman

I still remember seeing that perfect alcove. Looking forward to december.

Mandalore and Bert86 like this. 
  flowwbo

Super well written. Awesome history.

Lomaslooman, Mandalore and Bert86 like this. 
  Mandalore

Great read. I haven't looked at the rankings for a while, it was quite exciting getting to the end!

Lomaslooman and Bert86 like this. 
  Bert86

Glad you enjoyed it, any chance of you returning to the game at some point?

 
  Lomaslooman

Vids I'm posting just for the sake of deadly falls history.

Hayates 107 32 reaction video.

My 107 22 replay

Lomaslooman 107 15 video he never posted

Phalaers 107 12 we didnt post

Phalaer and lomas left route from 10 plus years ago

Idk if theres more. But if there are feel free to add em.